Sunday brought the team together as a whole for the first time. The squad wore helmets and shoulder pads for the second straight day, and the media was allowed in for it’s usual 25 minutes.
Left guard Josh Dworaczyk made his 2010 practice debut and stepped right in at his normal spot. After practice coach Les Miles said that Dworaczyk was able to make it through most of the morning’s session. Dworaczyk continues to battle an upper respiratory infection, and illness that kept him out of practice for the first three days.
Given the rep counts over the past four days, it seems that P.J. Lonergan has positioned himself ahead of T-Bob Hebert at center. The other first team names have been Joe Barksdale, Matt Branch (in for Dworaczyk), Will Blackwell and Alex Hurst. Josh Williford and Evan Washington have also seen snaps at the guard spots, two names that Miles mentioned post-practice as young talents doing well as they make their push up the depth chart.
2010 signee Jakhari Gore worked with the receivers today for the first time. He spent the first three days with the running backs while the receivers worked on route running. Miles said that Gore, though a tailback in high school, would now spend a couple of days with the receivers. Once you get an eye on Gore in the open field, you understand the approach. The Miami native is very quick, has good speed and displayed some soft hands, but he looked very uneasy running some of the routes.
With the freshmen now involved with the veterans, New Orleans standout Tyrann Mathieu ran with the second group at defensive back. He stepped in to the slot that Ryan St. Julien had occupied during the veteran practices the prior few days. Mathieu was on the same side as Patrick Peterson and was constantly getting encouragement from the All-American candidate. Morris Claiborne spoke to the media this week about how much Peterson has helped him along, and Mathieu seems to be getting the same treatment.
Coach Steve Ensminger had the tight ends running some out routes toward the end of the session. Deangelo Peterson has another gear in comparison to his teammates at tight end. It’s not the first time this has been said, but his combination of size and speed should be a real weapon against linebackers on third downs and in the red zone.
During the back half of the media session the offensive and defensive line worked through one-on-one drills. The first-team unit on the offense looked strong against most of their competition, but the younger names on the opposite side of the ball were able to win their battles against the second-string offense. Redshirt freshman Mike Brockers - at 6-foot-6, 300-pounds – was able to win one of his runs, and after he drew some praise from defensive line coach Brick Haley.
With today’s full squad practice, the Tigers are off and running with their eyes set on their date in Atlanta with the North Carolina Tar Heels, which is now just 27 days away. The next stop along the way: LSU Fan Day on Sunday afternoon.